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FIRST DIVISION

LUZON DEVELOPMENT BANK, G.R. No. 168646


Petitioner,

- versus -

ANGELES CATHERINE ENRIQUEZ,


Respondent.
x----------------------------x

DELTA DEVELOPMENT and G.R. No. 168666


MANAGEMENT SERVICES, INC.,
Petitioner,
Present:

CORONA, C.J., Chairperson,


- versus - VELASCO, JR.,
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO,
DEL CASTILLO, and
PEREZ, JJ.
ANGELES CATHERINE ENRIQUEZ
and LUZON DEVELOPMENT BANK, Promulgated:
Respondents. January 12, 2011
x--------------------------------------------------------x

DECISION

DEL CASTILLO, J.:

The protection afforded to a subdivision lot buyer under Presidential Decree (PD) No.
957 or The Subdivision and Condominium Buyers Protective Decree will not be
defeated by someone who is not an innocent purchaser for value. The lofty aspirations
of PD 957 should be read in every provision of the statute, in every contract that
undermines its objects, in every transaction which threatens its fruition. For a statute
derives its vitality from the purpose for which it is enacted and to construe it in a
manner that disregards or defeats such purpose is to nullify or destroy the law.[1]

These cases involve the separate appeals of Luzon Development Bank[2] (BANK) and
Delta Development and Management Services, Inc.[3] (DELTA) from the November
30, 2004 Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA), as well as its June 22, 2005
Resolution in CA-G.R. SP No. 81280. The dispositive portion of the assailed Decision
reads:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Decision dated June 17, 2003
and Resolution dated November 24, 2003 are AFFIRMED with [m]odification in so
far as Delta Development and Management Services, Inc. is liable and directed to pay
petitioner Luzon Development Bank the value of the subject lot subject matter of the
Contract to Sell between Delta Development and Management Services, Inc. and the
private respondent [Catherine Angeles Enriquez].

SO ORDERED.[4]

Factual Antecedents

The BANK is a domestic financial corporation that extends loans to subdivision


developers/owners.[5]

Petitioner DELTA is a domestic corporation engaged in the business of developing


and selling real estate properties, particularly Delta Homes I in Cavite. DELTA is
owned by Ricardo De Leon (De Leon),[6] who is the registered owner of a parcel of
land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-637183[7] of the Registry of
Deeds of the Province of Cavite, which corresponds to Lot 4 of Delta Homes I. Said
Lot 4 is the subject matter of these cases.

On July 3, 1995, De Leon and his spouse obtained a P4 million loan from the BANK
for the express purpose of developing Delta Homes I.[8] To secure the loan, the spouses
De Leon executed in favor of the BANK a real estate mortgage (REM) on several of
their properties,[9] including Lot 4. Subsequently, this REM was amended[10] by
increasing the amount of the secured loan from P4 million to P8 million. Both the
REM and the amendment were annotated on TCT No. T-637183.[11]
DELTA then obtained a Certificate of Registration[12] and a License to Sell[13] from the
Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).

Sometime in 1997, DELTA executed a Contract to Sell with respondent Angeles


Catherine Enriquez (Enriquez)[14] over the house and lot in Lot 4 for the purchase price
of P614,950.00.Enriquez made a downpayment of P114,950.00. The Contract to Sell
contained the following provisions:

That the vendee/s offered to buy and the Owner agreed to sell the above-described
property subject to the following terms and conditions to wit:

xxxx

6. That the (sic) warning shall be served upon the Vendee/s for failure to pay x x x
Provided, however, that for failure to pay three (3) successive monthly installment
payments, the Owner may consider this Contract to Sell null and void ab initio without
further proceedings or court action and all payments shall be forfeited in favor of the
Owner as liquidated damages and expenses for documentations. x x x
That upon full payment of the total consideration if payable in cash, the Owner shall
execute a final deed of sale in favor of the Vendee/s. However, if the term of the
contract is for a certain period of time, only upon full payment of the total
consideration that a final deed of sale shall be executed by the Owner in favor of the
Vendee/s.[15]

When DELTA defaulted on its loan obligation, the BANK, instead of foreclosing the
REM, agreed to a dation in payment or a dacion en pago. The Deed of Assignment in
Payment of Debt was executed on September 30, 1998 and stated that DELTA assigns,
transfers, and conveys and sets over [to] the assignee that real estate with the building
and improvements existing thereon x x x in payment of the total obligation owing
to [the Bank] x x x.[16] Unknown to Enriquez, among the properties assigned to the
BANK was the house and lot of Lot 4,[17] which is the subject of her Contract to Sell
with DELTA. The records do not bear out and the parties are silent on whether the
BANK was able to transfer title to its name. It appears, however, that the dacion en
pago was not annotated on the TCT of Lot 4.[18]

On November 18, 1999, Enriquez filed a complaint against DELTA and the BANK
before the Region IV Office of the HLURB[19] alleging that DELTA violated the terms
of its License to Sell by: (a) selling the house and lots for a price exceeding that
prescribed in Batas Pambansa (BP) Bilang 220;[20] and (b) failing to get a clearance for
the mortgage from the HLURB.Enriquez sought a full refund of the P301,063.42 that
she had already paid to DELTA, award of damages, and the imposition of
administrative fines on DELTA and the BANK.
In his June 1, 2000 Decision,[21] HLURB Arbiter Atty. Raymundo A. Foronda upheld
the validity of the purchase price, but ordered DELTA to accept payment of the
balance of P108,013.36 from Enriquez, and (upon such payment) to deliver to
Enriquez the title to the house and lot free from liens and encumbrances. The
dispositive portion reads:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, a decision is hereby rendered as follows:

1. Ordering [DELTA] to accept complainant[]s payments in the amount


of P108,013.36 representing her balance based on the maximum selling price
of P375,000.00;

2. Upon full payment, ordering Delta to deliver the title in favor of the
complainant free from any liens and encumbrances;

3. Ordering [DELTA] to pay complainant the amount of P50,000.00 as and


by way of moral damages;

4. Ordering [DELTA] to pay complainant the amount of P50,000.00 as and


by way of exemplary damages;

5. Ordering [DELTA] to pay complainant P10,000.00 as costs of suit; and


6. Respondent DELTA to pay administrative fine of P10,000.00[[22]] for
violation of Section 18 of P.D. 957[[23]] and another P10,000.00 for violation of
Section 22 of P.D. 957.[[24]]

SO ORDERED.[25]

DELTA appealed the arbiters Decision to the HLURB Board of


Commissioners.[26] DELTA questioned the imposition of an administrative fine for its
alleged violation of Section 18 of PD 957. It argued that clearance was not required for
mortgages that were constituted on a subdivision project prior to
registration. According to DELTA, it did not violate the terms of its license because it
did not obtain a new mortgage over the subdivision project. It likewise assailed the
award of moral and exemplary damages to Enriquez on the ground that the latter has
no cause of action.[27]

Ruling of the Board of Commissioners (Board)[28]

The Board held that all developers should obtain a clearance for mortgage from the
HLURB, regardless of the date when the mortgage was secured, because the law does
not distinguish. Having violated this legal requirement, DELTA was held liable to pay
the administrative fine.

The Board upheld the validity of the contract to sell between DELTA and Enriquez
despite the alleged violation of the price ceilings in BP 220. The Board held that
DELTA and Enriquez were presumed to have had a meeting of the minds on the object
of the sale and the purchase price. Absent any circumstance vitiating Enriquezconsent,
she was presumed to have willingly and voluntarily agreed to the higher purchase
price; hence, she was bound by the terms of the contract.

The Board, however, deleted the arbiters award of damages to Enriquez on the ground
that the latter was not free from liability herself, given that she was remiss in her
monthly amortizations to DELTA.

The dispositive portion of the Boards Decision reads:

Wherefore, in view of the foregoing, the Office belows decision dated June 01, 2000
is hereby modified to read as follows:

1. Ordering [Enriquez] to pay [DELTA] the amount due from the time she suspended
payment up to filing of the complaint with 12% interest thereon per annum; thereafter
the provisions of the Contract to Sell shall apply until full payment is made;

2. Ordering [DELTA] to pay an [a]dministrative [f]ine of P10,000.00 for violation of


its license to sell and for violation of Section 18 of P.D. 957.

So ordered. Quezon City.[29]


Enriquez moved for a reconsideration of the Boards Decision[30] upholding the
contractual purchase price. She maintained that the price for Lot 4 should not exceed
the price ceiling provided in BP 220.[31]

Finding Enriquezs arguments as having already been passed upon in the decision, the
Board denied reconsideration. The board, however, modified its decision, with respect
to the period for the imposition of interest payments. The Boards resolution[32] reads:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, to [sic] directive No. 1 of the dispositive portion


of the decision of our decision [sic] is MODIFIED as follows:

1. Ordering complainant to pay respondent DELTA the amount due from the time
she suspended (sic) at 12% interest per annum, reckoned from finality of this
decision[,] thereafter the provisions of the Contract to Sell shall apply until full
payment is made.

In all other respects, the decision is AFFIRMED.

SO ORDERED.[33]

Both Enriquez and the BANK appealed to the Office of the President (OP).[34] The
BANK disagreed with the ruling upholding Enriquezs Contract to Sell; and insisted on
its ownership over Lot 4. It argued that it has become impossible for DELTA to
comply with the terms of the contract to sell and to deliver Lot 4s title to Enriquez
given that DELTA had already relinquished all its rights to Lot 4 in favor of the
BANK[35] via the dation in payment.

Meanwhile, Enriquez insisted that the Board erred in not applying the ceiling price as
prescribed in BP 220.[36]

Ruling of the Office of the President[37]

The OP adopted by reference the findings of fact and conclusions of law of the
HLURB Decisions, which it affirmed in toto.

Enriquez filed a motion for reconsideration, insisting that she was entitled to a
reduction of the purchase price, in order to conform to the provisions of BP 220.[38] The
motion was denied for lack of merit.[39]

Only the BANK appealed the OPs Decision to the CA.[40] The BANK reiterated that
DELTA can no longer deliver Lot 4 to Enriquez because DELTA had sold the same
to the BANK by virtue of the dacion en pago.[41] As an alternative argument, in case
the appellate court should find that DELTA retained ownership over Lot 4 and could
convey the same to Enriquez, the BANK prayed that its REM over Lot 4 be respected
such that DELTA would have to redeem it first before it could convey the same to
Enriquez in accordance with Section 25[42] of PD 957.[43]

The BANK likewise sought an award of exemplary damages and attorneys fees in its
favor because of the baseless suit filed by Enriquez against it.[44]

Ruling of the Court of Appeals[45]

The CA ruled against the validity of the dacion en pago executed in favor of the
BANK on the ground that DELTA had earlier relinquished its ownership over Lot 4
in favor of Enriquez via the Contract to Sell.[46]

Since the dacion en pago is invalid with respect to Lot 4, the appellate court held that
DELTA remained indebted to the BANK to the extent of Lot 4s value. Thus, the CA
ordered DELTA to pay the corresponding value of Lot 4 to the BANK.[47]

The CA also rejected the BANKs argument that, before DELTA can deliver the title
to Lot 4 to Enriquez, DELTA should first redeem the mortgaged property from the
BANK. The CA held that the BANK does not have a first lien on Lot 4 because its
real estate mortgage over the same had already been extinguished by the dacion en
pago. Without a mortgage, the BANK cannot require DELTA to redeem Lot 4 prior
to delivery of title to Enriquez.[48]

The CA denied the BANKs prayer for the award of exemplary damages and attorneys
fees for lack of factual and legal basis.[49]

Both DELTA[50] and the BANK[51] moved for a reconsideration of the CAs Decision,
but both were denied.[52]

Hence, these separate petitions of the BANK and DELTA.

Petitioner Deltas arguments[53]

DELTA assails the CA Decision for holding that DELTA conveyed its ownership over
Lot 4 to Enriquez via the Contract to Sell. DELTA points out that the Contract to Sell
contained a condition that ownership shall only be transferred to Enriquez upon the
latters full payment of the purchase price to DELTA. Since Enriquez has yet to comply
with this suspensive condition, ownership is retained by DELTA.[54] As the owner of
Lot 4, DELTA had every right to enter into a dation in payment to extinguish its loan
obligation to the BANK. The BANKs acceptance of the assignment, without any
reservation or exception, resulted in the extinguishment of the entire loan obligation;
hence, DELTA has no more obligation to pay the value of Enriquezs house and lot to
the BANK.[55]
DELTA prays for the reinstatement of the OP Decision.

The BANKs arguments[56]

Echoing the argument of DELTA, the BANK argues that the Contract to Sell did not
involve a conveyance of DELTAs ownership over Lot 4 to Enriquez. The Contract to
Sell expressly provides that DELTA retained ownership over Lot 4 until Enriquez paid
the full purchase price. Since Enriquez has not yet made such full payment, DELTA
retained ownership over Lot 4 and could validly convey the same to the
BANK via dacion en pago.[57]

Should the dacion en pago over Lot 4 be invalidated and the property ordered to be
delivered to Enriquez, the BANK contends that DELTA should pay the corresponding
value of Lot 4 to the BANK. It maintains that the loan obligation extinguished by
the dacion en pago only extends to the value of the properties delivered; if Lot 4 cannot
be delivered to the BANK, then the loan obligation of DELTA remains to the extent
of Lot 4s value.[58]

The BANK prays to be declared the rightful owner of the subject house and lot and
asks for an award of exemplary damages and attorneys fees.

Enriquezs waiver

Enriquez did not file comments[59] or memoranda in both cases; instead, she
manifested that she will just await the outcome of the case.[60]

Issues

The following are the issues raised by the two petitions:


1. Whether the Contract to Sell conveys ownership;

2. Whether the dacion en pago extinguished the loan obligation, such that
DELTA has no more obligations to the BANK;

3. Whether the BANK is entitled to damages and attorneys fees for being
compelled to litigate; and

4. What is the effect of Enriquezs failure to appeal the OPs Decision regarding
her obligation to pay the balance on the purchase price.

Our Ruling
Mortgage contract void
As the HLURB Arbiter and Board of Commissioners both found, DELTA violated
Section 18 of PD 957 in mortgaging the properties in Delta Homes I (including Lot 4)
to the BANK without prior clearance from the HLURB. This point need not be
belabored since the parties have chosen not to appeal the administrative fine imposed
on DELTA for violation of Section 18.

This violation of Section 18 renders the mortgage executed by DELTA


void. We have held before that a mortgage contract executed in breach of Section 18
of [PD 957] is null and void.[61] Considering that PD 957 aims to protect innocent
subdivision lot and condominium unit buyers against fraudulent real estate practices,
we have construed Section 18 thereof as prohibitory and acts committed contrary to it
are void.[62]

Because of the nullity of the mortgage, neither DELTA nor the BANK could
assert any right arising therefrom. The BANKs loan of P8 million to DELTA has
effectively become unsecured due to the nullity of the mortgage. The said loan,
however, was eventually settled by the two contracting parties via a dation in
payment. In the appealed Decision, the CA invalidated this dation in payment on the
ground that DELTA, by previously entering into a Contract to Sell, had already
conveyed its ownership over Lot 4 to Enriquez and could no longer convey the same
to the BANK. This is error, prescinding from a wrong understanding of the nature of
a contract to sell.

Contract to sell does not transfer ownership

Both parties are correct in arguing that the Contract to Sell executed by DELTA in
favor of Enriquez did not transfer ownership over Lot 4 to Enriquez. A contract to sell
is one where the prospective seller reserves the transfer of title to the prospective buyer
until the happening of an event, such as full payment of the purchase price. What the
seller obliges himself to do is to sell the subject property only when the entire amount
of the purchase price has already been delivered to him. In other words, the full
payment of the purchase price partakes of a suspensive condition, the non-fulfillment
of which prevents the obligation to sell from arising and thus, ownership is retained by
the prospective seller without further remedies by the prospective buyer.[63] It does not,
by itself, transfer ownership to the buyer.[64]

In the instant case, there is nothing in the provisions of the contract entered into by
DELTA and Enriquez that would exempt it from the general definition of a contract to
sell. The terms thereof provide for the reservation of DELTAs ownership until full
payment of the purchase price; such that DELTA even reserved the right to unilaterally
void the contract should Enriquez fail to pay three successive monthly amortizations.

Since the Contract to Sell did not transfer ownership of Lot 4 to Enriquez, said
ownership remained with DELTA. DELTA could then validly transfer such
ownership (as it did) to another person (the BANK). However, the transferee BANK
is bound by the Contract to Sell and has to respect Enriquezs rights thereunder. This is
because the Contract to Sell, involving a subdivision lot, is covered and protected by
PD 957. One of the protections afforded by PD 957 to buyers such as Enriquez is the
right to have her contract to sell registered with the Register of Deeds in order to make
it binding on third parties. Thus, Section 17 of PD 957 provides:

Section 17. Registration. All contracts to sell, deeds of sale, and other
similar instruments relative to the sale or conveyance of the subdivision lots and
condominium units, whether or not the purchase price is paid in full, shall
be registered by the seller in the Office of the Register of Deeds of the province or city
where the property is situated.

x x x x (Emphasis supplied.)

The purpose of registration is to protect the buyers from any future unscrupulous
transactions involving the object of the sale or contract to sell, whether the purchase
price therefor has been fully paid or not. Registration of the sale or contract to sell
makes it binding on third parties; it serves as a notice to the whole world that the
property is subject to the prior right of the buyer of the property (under a contract to
sell or an absolute sale), and anyone who wishes to deal with the said property will be
held bound by such prior right.

While DELTA, in the instant case, failed to register Enriquezs Contract to Sell with
the Register of Deeds, this failure will not prejudice Enriquez or relieve the BANK
from its obligation to respect Enriquezs Contract to Sell. Despite the non-registration,
the BANK cannot be considered, under the circumstances, an innocent purchaser for
value of Lot 4 when it accepted the latter (together with other assigned properties) as
payment for DELTAs obligation. The BANK was well aware that the assigned
properties, including Lot 4, were subdivision lots and therefore within the purview of
PD 957. It knew that the loaned amounts were to be used for the development of
DELTAs subdivision project, for this was indicated in the corresponding promissory
notes. The technical description of Lot 4 indicates its location, which can easily be
determined as included within the subdivision development. Under these
circumstances, the BANK knew or should have known of the possibility and risk that
the assigned properties were already covered by existing contracts to sell in favor of
subdivision lot buyers. As observed by the Court in another case involving a bank
regarding a subdivision lot that was already subject of a contract to sell with a third
party:

[The Bank] should have considered that it was dealing with a property subject
of a real estate development project. A reasonable person, particularly a financial
institution x x x, should have been aware that, to finance the project, funds other than
those obtained from the loan could have been used to serve the purpose, albeit
partially. Hence, there was a need to verify whether any part of the property was
already intended to be the subject of any other contract involving buyers or potential
buyers. In granting the loan, [the Bank] should not have been content merely with a
clean title, considering the presence of circumstances indicating the need for a
thorough investigation of the existence of buyers x x x. Wanting in care and prudence,
the [Bank] cannot be deemed to be an innocent mortgagee. x x x[65]

Further, as an entity engaged in the banking business, the BANK is required to


observe more care and prudence when dealing with registered properties. The Court
cannot accept that the BANK was unaware of the Contract to Sell existing in favor of
Enriquez. In Keppel Bank Philippines, Inc. v. Adao,[66] we held that a bank dealing
with a property that is already subject of a contract to sell and is protected by the
provisions of PD 957, is bound by the contract to sell (even if the contract to sell in that
case was not registered). In the Courts words:

It is true that persons dealing with registered property can rely solely on the
certificate of title and need not go beyond it. However, x x x, this rule does not apply
to banks. Banks are required to exercise more care and prudence than private
individuals in dealing even with registered properties for their business is affected with
public interest. As master of its business, petitioner should have sent its representatives
to check the assigned properties before signing the compromise agreement and it
would have discovered that respondent was already occupying one of the
condominium units and that a contract to sell existed between [the vendee] and [the
developer]. In our view, petitioner was not a purchaser in good faith and we are
constrained to rule that petitioner is bound by the contract to sell.[67]

Bound by the terms of the Contract to Sell, the BANK is obliged to respect the same
and honor the payments already made by Enriquez for the purchase price of Lot
4. Thus, the BANK can only collect the balance of the purchase price from Enriquez
and has the obligation, upon full payment, to deliver to Enriquez a clean title over the
subject property.[68]

Dacion en pago extinguished the loan obligation

The BANK then posits that, if title to Lot 4 is ordered delivered to Enriquez, DELTA
has the obligation to pay the BANK the corresponding value of Lot 4. According to
the BANK, the dation in payment extinguished the loan only to the extent of the value
of the thing delivered. Since Lot 4 would have no value to the BANK if it will be
delivered to Enriquez, DELTA would remain indebted to that extent.

We are not persuaded. Like in all contracts, the intention of the parties to the
dation in payment is paramount and controlling. The contractual intention determines
whether the property subject of the dation will be considered as the full equivalent of
the debt and will therefore serve as full satisfaction for the debt. The dation in payment
extinguishes the obligation to the extent of the value of the thing delivered, either as
agreed upon by the parties or as may be proved, unless the parties by agreement,
express or implied, or by their silence, consider the thing as equivalent to the
obligation, in which case the obligation is totally extinguished.[69]

In the case at bar, the Dacion en Pago executed by DELTA and the BANK indicates
a clear intention by the parties that the assigned properties would serve as full payment
for DELTAs entire obligation:

KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS:

This instrument, made and executed by and between:

xxxx

THAT, the ASSIGNOR acknowledges to be justly indebted to the ASSIGNEE in the


sum of ELEVEN MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED SEVENTY-EIGHT
THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED PESOS (P11,878,800.00), Philippine Currency
as of August 25, 1998. Therefore, by virtue of this instrument, ASSIGNOR hereby
ASSIGNS, TRANSFERS, and CONVEYS AND SETS OVER [TO] the
ASSIGNEE that real estate with the building and improvements existing thereon,
more particularly described as follows:

xxxx

of which the ASSIGNOR is the registered owner being evidenced by TCT No. x x x
issued by the Registry of Deeds of Trece Martires City.

THAT, the ASSIGNEE does hereby accept this ASSIGNMENT IN


PAYMENT OF THE TOTAL OBLIGATION owing to him by the ASSIGNOR as
above-stated;[70]

Without any reservation or condition, the Dacion stated that the assigned properties
served as full payment of DELTAs total obligation to the BANK. The BANK accepted
said properties as equivalent of the loaned amount and as full satisfaction of DELTAs
debt. The BANK cannot complain if, as it turned out, some of those assigned
properties (such as Lot 4) are covered by existing contracts to sell. As noted earlier, the
BANK knew that the assigned properties were subdivision lots and covered by PD
957. It was aware of the nature of DELTAs business, of the location of the assigned
properties within DELTAs subdivision development, and the possibility that some of
the properties may be subjects of existing contracts to sell which enjoy protection under
PD 957. Banks dealing with subdivision properties are expected to conduct a thorough
due diligence review to discover the status of the properties they deal with. It may thus
be said that the BANK, in accepting the assigned properties as full payment of
DELTAs total obligation, has assumed the risk that some of the assigned properties
(such as Lot 4) are covered by contracts to sell which it is bound to honor under PD
957.

A dacion en pago is governed by the law of sales.[71] Contracts of sale come with
warranties, either express (if explicitly stipulated by the parties) or implied (under
Article 1547 et seq. of the Civil Code). In this case, however, the BANK does not even
point to any breach of warranty by DELTA in connection with the Dation in
Payment. To be sure, the Dation in Payment has no express warranties relating to
existing contracts to sell over the assigned properties. As to the implied warranty in
case of eviction, it is waivable[72] and cannot be invoked if the buyer knew of the risks
or danger of eviction and assumed its consequences.[73] As we have noted earlier, the
BANK, in accepting the assigned properties as full payment of DELTAs total
obligation, has assumed the risk that some of the assigned properties are covered by
contracts to sell which must be honored under PD 957.

Award of damages

There is nothing on record that warrants the award of exemplary damages[74] as well
as attorneys fees[75] in favor of the BANK.
Balance to be paid by Enriquez

As already mentioned, the Contract to Sell in favor of Enriquez must be


respected by the BANK. Upon Enriquezs full payment of the balance of the purchase
price, the BANK is bound to deliver the title over Lot 4 to her. As to the amount of the
balance which Enriquez must pay, we adopt the OPs ruling thereon which sustained
the amount stipulated in the Contract to Sell.We will not review Enriquezs initial
claims about the supposed violation of the price ceiling in BP 220, since this issue was
no longer pursued by the parties, not even by Enriquez, who chose not to file the
required pleadings[76] before the Court. The parties were informed in the Courts
September 5, 2007 Resolution that issues that are not included in their memoranda
shall be deemed waived or abandoned. Since Enriquez did not file a memorandum in
either petition, she is deemed to have waived the said issue.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the appealed November 30, 2004 Decision of


the Court of Appeals, as well as its June 22, 2005 Resolution in CA-G.R. SP No. 81280
are hereby AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATIONS that Delta Development and
Management Services, Inc. is NOT LIABLE TO PAY Luzon Development Bank
the value of the subject lot; and respondent Angeles Catherine Enriquez is ordered
to PAY the balance of the purchase price and the interests accruing thereon, as decreed
by the Court of Appeals, to the Luzon Development Bank, instead of Delta
Development and Management Services, Inc., within thirty (30) days from finality of
this Decision. The Luzon Development Bank is ordered to DELIVER a CLEAN
TITLE to Angeles Catherine Enriquez upon the latters full payment of the balance of
the purchase price and the accrued interests.

SO ORDERED.

MARIANO C. DEL CASTILLO


Associate Justice

WE CONCUR:

RENATO C. CORONA
Chief Justice
Chairperson

PRESBITERO J. VELASCO, JR. TERESITA J. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO


Associate Justice Associate Justice

JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ


Associate Justice

CERTIFICATION

Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, it is hereby certified that the
conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case
was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Courts Division.

RENATO C. CORONA
Chief Justice

[1]
Pilipinas Kao, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 423 Phil. 834, 858 (2001).
[2]
Rollo of G.R. No. 168646, pp. 3-27.
[3]
Rollo of G.R. No. 168666, pp. 3-16.
[4]
CA Decision, pp. 9-10; id. at 125-126.
[5]
Petition in G.R. No. 168646, p. 3; rollo of G.R. No. 168646, p. 5.
[6]
Id. at 3-4; id. at 5-6.
[7]
Id. at 60.
[8]
The loan contract itself was not attached to the parties pleadings; only the promissory notes covering the said
loan were attached. The promissory notes contained the condition that the loan proceeds shall be used only
for the purpose of subdivision development, particularly the development of Delta Homes I, Aniban,
Bacoor, Cavite (CA rollo, pp. 50-55).
[9]
Id. at 57-59.
[10]
Id. at 70. The amendment to the real estate mortgage was dated November 8, 1995.
[11]
Rollo of G.R. No. 168646, p. 60.
[12]
CA rollo, p. 81. Pertinent portions of the registration certificate dated September 22, 1995 read as follows:
BE IT KNOWN:
That DELTA HOMES I x x x is hereby REGISTERED pursuant to Section 21 of BP 220 and its rules
and regulations.
THAT any misrepresentation or material falsehood made in connection with the application for this
registration or the forgery or falsification of any of the supporting documents thereof and other legal grounds
provided by law shall be a valid cause for the revocation of this Registration.
xxxx
AND THAT the project owner(s), RICARDO S. DE LEON and the developer(s) DELTA
DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT SERVICES, INC. take the solidary responsibilities of
complying with the law and the rules and regulations for the issuance for this CERTIFICATE and the
License to Sell, if any.
[13]
Id. at 82. The License to Sell was dated September 19, 1995.
[14]
Rollo of G.R. No. 168646, pp. 61-64.
[15]
Id. at 61-62.
[16]
CA rollo, pp. 71-80.
[17]
Id. at 76.
[18]
Rollo of G.R. No. 168646, p. 60.
[19]
Docketed as R-106-111899-117-5; id. at 65-70.
[20]
An Act Authorizing the Ministry of Human Settlements to Establish and Promulgate Different Levels of
Standards and Technical Requirements for Economic and Socialized Housing Projects in Urban and Rural
Areas from those provided under Presidential Decrees Numbered Nine Hundred Fifty-Seven, Twelve
Hundred Sixteen, Ten Hundred Ninety-Six and Eleven Hundred Eighty-Five.
[21]
HLURB Decision, p. 1; CA rollo, p. 26. A copy of the HLURB Arbiters decision itself was not included in
the available records of the case.
[22]
Section 38. Administrative Fines. The [HLURB] may prescribe and impose fines not exceeding ten thousand
pesos for violations of the provisions of this Decree or of any rule or regulation thereunder. Fines shall be
payable to the [HLURB] and enforceable through writs of execution in accordance with the provisions of
the Rules of Court. (PD 957, as amended)
[23]
Section 18. Mortgages. No mortgage on any unit or lot shall be made by the owner or developer without prior
written approval of the [HLURB]. Such approval shall not be granted unless it is shown that the proceeds
of the mortgage loan shall be used for the development of the condominium or subdivision project and
effective measures have been provided to ensure such utilization. The loan value of each lot or unit covered
by the mortgage shall be determined and the buyer thereof, if any, shall be notified before the release of the
loan. The buyer may, at his option, pay his installment for the lot or unit directly to the mortgagee who shall
apply the payments to the corresponding mortgage indebtedness secured by the particular lot or unit being
paid for, with a view to enabling said buyer to obtain title over the lot or unit promptly after full payment
thereto. [Emphasis supplied.]
[24]
Section 22. Alteration of Plans. No owner or developer shall change or alter the roads, open spaces,
infastructures, facilities for public use and/or other form of subdivision development as contained in the
approved subdivision plan and/or represented in its advertisements, without the permission of the [HLURB]
and the written conformity or consent of the duly organized homeowners association, or in the absence of
the latter, by the majority of the lot buyers in the subdivision.
[25]
CA rollo, p. 26.
[26]
Id. The appeal was docketed as HLURB Case No. REM-A-000918-183.
[27]
Id. at 27.
[28]
Id. at 26-28. Decided by Deinrado Simon D. Dimalibot (HUDCC Deputy Secretary General), Francisco L.
Dagalan (Commissioner), and Elias F. Fernandez, Jr. (DILG representative).
[29]
Id. at 28.
[30]
Id. at 46.
[31]
Id. at 47.
[32]
Id. at 46-48.
[33]
Id. at 47-48.
[34]
Id. at 23. The case was docketed as OP Case No. 02-E-234. The decision was signed by Undersecretary
Enrique D. Perez, by authority of the President.
[35]
CA Decision, p. 5; id. at 121.
[36]
Id.; id.
[37]
CA rollo, p. 23.
[38]
CA Decision, p. 6; CA rollo, p. 122.
[39]
CA rollo, p. 25. The Resolution was signed by Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Waldo Q. Flores, by
authority of the President.
[40]
Id. at 2-22. The petition was initially dismissed in the CAs January 29, 2004 Resolution for failure of the
petition to state the material dates and to attach a proof of the signatorys authority to sign the verification
against forum-shopping (Id. at 85-86). Upon the Banks motion for reconsideration (Id. at 87-108), the
petition was reinstated and given due course in the CAs May 25, 2004 Resolution (Id. at 110-111).
[41]
Petition in CA-G.R. SP No. 81280, pp. 11-14; id. at 12-15.
[42]
Section 25. Issuance of Title. The owner or developer shall deliver the title of the lot or unit to the buyer upon
full payment of the lot or unit. No fee, except those required for the registration of the deed of sale in the
Registry of Deeds, shall be collected for the issuance of such title. In the event a mortgage over the lot or
unit is outstanding at the time of the issuance of the title to the buyer, the owner or developer shall redeem
the mortgage or the corresponding portion thereof within six months from such issuance in order that the
title over any fully paid lot or unit may be secured and delivered to the buyer in accordance herewith.
[43]
Petition in CA-GR SP No. 81280, pp. 14-16; CA rollo, pp. 15-17.
[44]
Id. at 16-18; id. at 17-19.
[45]
CA rollo, pp. 117-126; penned by Associate Justice Bienvenido L Reyes and concurred in by Associate
Justices Eugenio S. Labitoria and Rosalinda Asuncion-Vicente.
[46]
CA Decision, pp. 7-8; CA rollo, pp. 123-124.
[47]
Id. at 8; id. at 124.
[48]
Id. at 8-9; id. at 124-125.
[49]
Id. at 9; id. at 125.
[50]
CA rollo, pp. 127-134.
[51]
Id. at 135-144.
[52]
Id. at 156-158.
[53]
Deltas Memorandum in G.R. No. 168646, pp. 113-122; Deltas Memorandum in G.R. No. 168666, pp. 98-
107.
[54]
Id. at 116-118; id. at 101-103.
[55]
Id. at 118-199; id. at 103-104.
[56]
Memorandum in G.R. No. 168646, pp. 165-195; Memorandum in G.R. No. 168666, pp. 146-176.
[57]
Banks Memorandum in G.R. No. 168646, pp. 178-186; Banks Memorandum in G.R. No. 168666, pp. 159-
167.
[58]
Id. at 190-192; id. at 171-173.
[59]
Compliance and Comment in G.R. No. 168646, pp. 77-78; Compliance and Comment in G.R. No. 168666,
pp. 65-66.
[60]
Manifestation in G.R. No. 168646, p. 193; Manifestation in G.R. No. 168666, p. 177.
[61]
Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, Inc. v. SLGT Holdings, Inc., G.R. Nos. 175181-175182, 175354
&175387-175388, September 14, 2007, 533 SCRA 516, 526.
[62]
Id.
[63]
Coronel v. Court of Appeals, 331 Phil. 294, 309 (1996); Spouses Ramos v. Spouses Heruela, 509 Phil. 658,
664-667 (2005).
[64]
See China Banking Corporation v. Lozada, G.R. No. 164919, July 4, 2008, 557 SCRA 177, 204.
[65]
Development Bank of the Philippines v. Capulong, G.R. No. 181790, January 30, 2009, 577 SCRA 582, 587-
588.
[66]
510 Phil. 158 (2005).
[67]
Id. at 165-166.
[68]
See Home Bankers Savings & Trust Co. v. Court of Appeals, 496 Phil. 637, 655 (2005).
[69]
Tolentino, Commentaries on the Civil Code (1987), Vol. IV, p. 294, citing Manresa.
[70]
CA rollo, pp. 71-79.
[71]
Article 1245. Dation in payment, whereby property is alienated to the creditor in satisfaction of a debt in
money, shall be governed by the law of sales.
[72]
Article 1548. Eviction shall take place whenever by a final judgment based on a right prior to the sale or an
act imputable to the vendor, the vendee is deprived of the whole or of a part of the thing purchased.
The vendor shall answer for the eviction even though nothing has been said in the contract on the subject.
The contracting parties, however, may increase, diminish, or suppress this legal obligation of the vendor. (Civil
Code)
[73]
Andaya v. Manansala, 107 Phil. 1151, 1154-1155 (1960); J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 183
Phil. 105, 113-114 (1979).
[74]
Article 2231. In quasi-delicts, exemplary damages may be granted if the defendant acted with gross
negligence.
Article 2232. In contracts and quasi-contracts, the court may award exemplary damages if the defendant acted
in a wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive, or malevolent manner.
Article 2233. Exemplary damages cannot be recovered as a matter of right; the court will decide whether
or not they should be adjudicated. (Civil Code)
[75]
Article 2208. In the absence of stipulation, attorneys fees and expenses of litigation, other than judicial costs,
cannot be recovered, except:
(1) When exemplary damages are awarded;
(2) When the defendants act or omission has compelled the plaintiff to litigate with third person or to incur
expenses to protect his interest;
(3) In criminal cases of malicious prosecution against the plaintiff;
(4) In case of a clearly unfounded civil action or proceeding against the plaintiff;
(5) Where the defendant acted in gross and evident bad faith in refusing to satisfy the plaintiffs plainly valid, just
and demandable claim;
(6) In actions for legal support;
(7) In actions for the recovery of wages of household helpers, laborers and skilled workers;
(8) In actions for indemnity under workmens compensation and employers liability laws;
(9) In a separate civil action to recover civil liability arising from a crime;
(10) When at least double judicial costs are awarded;
(11) In any other case where the court deems it just and equitable that attorneys fees and expenses of litigation
should be recovered.
In all cases, the attorneys fees and expenses of litigation must be reasonable. (Civil Code)
[76]
Enriquez made a reservation in her comment to the two petitions, in this wise:
3. It may be recalled that respondent Enriquez was not able to succeed in her position to pay a lesser
amount on the consideration of [sic] buying a house and lot. She did not pursue anymore her case but the
petitioners herein raised matters which would directly affect them. By way of comment therefore to the said
petitions, respondent Enriquez asserts that she will take appropriate remedies after this Honorable Court
resolves the issues raised by the petitioners Luzon Development Bank and Delta Development and
Management Services, Inc. against each other. But she insists that she is liable to pay to either of the
petitioners based on lesser amount she previously claimed. (Rollo of G.R. No. 168646, p. 78; rollo of
G.R. No. 168666, p. 66)